Helping search engines on multi-national websites

It’s a challenge to get the SEO right for websites in multiple languages, or with sections targeting specific countries. How do we get the search engines to index all the pages and show the right ones in the right countries? Search is not like AdWords, where you can simply tell Google to show this ad in this country, and this ad when people are using this language. But there are some useful techniques. After all, Google wants to get things right on your behalf.

There’s also the issue of running almost identical pages targeted at different countries, for example the UK and North America. The differences might be tiny – maybe just a price, some spellings or a contact number. Google takes exception to “duplicate content”, and even if it understands that you’re not trying to deceive it in this case, how do you tell it to show one page to searchers in the UK and another in North America?

It’s a big subject, and I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. Instead, take a look at this article on Search Engine Land and the other articles it links to. The latest information from the horse’s mouth is here and there’s some good stuff here and here.

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